Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound - dark, hypnotic, and intense - that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: In 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on the eve of their first U.S. tour, the band was rent asunder by the tragic death of their enigmatic lead singer, Ian Curtis. Yet in the mere three years they were together, Joy Division produced two landmark albums and a handful of singles - including the iconic anthem "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - that continue to have a powerful resonance.
Now, for the first time, their story is told by one of their own. In Unknown Pleasures, founding member and bass player Peter Hook recounts how four young men from Manchester and Salisbury, with makeshift instruments and a broken-down van, rose from the punk scene to create a haunting, atmospheric music that would define a generation. Peter talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis; the band's friendships and fallouts; the evolution of their sound and image; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend, including Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. Told with surprising humor and vivid detail, Unknown Pleasures is the book Joy Division fans have awaited for decades.
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Like sitting next to Hooky in a bar...
It's like sitting next to Peter Hook in a bar, while he tells you the story of Joy Division from his perspective. Oh, sure, there's controversy over who has the right to call themselves what, and sure the band had their differences, but this is Peter Hook's version of the tale. And it's a *great* listen - well-told, fascinating, and definitely gives you a new insight into who Ian Curtis was.
You can even hear the narrator start to choke up at times, when he thinks about the old days.
If I had one complaint... the timelines don't necessarily work as well in audio form as they might in a book, where you can easily skip over them, or go back to them for reference. I found myself thinking "get on with it" as Hook listed off yet another show Joy Division played at yet another club with yet another description of how "we sounded sh*te, Bernard bruised his elbow..." etc. etc.
The rest of the book, though... no one but Peter Hook could have narrated this story. His style is relaxed and natural and really fun to listen to.
Moving biography of a friend
I haven't read the print version, but the author's narration of the audio version I believe must have added a lot to the text. It doesn't sound so much as if he's reading, but telling a story.
Other biographies and autobiographies read by the author.
I never listen to a book in one sitting, but I listened to this one every chance I got.